We were warned by the local weatherman it could be a doozy of a week, but no true believer could be found. The 8 inch onslaught of unprecedented ice and snow kept us hunkered down with dripping faucets and flaming gas logs. We’ve been warm enough. Food was stretched. No busted pipes. No power outages. Truly a miracle for our neighbors all have a different story to tell. We did get in one good shower this past week.
We are thankful for the prayers of our friends and family.
Wouldn’t you know it though this past week I was scheduled to teach on Lordship / Surrender in the Discipleship Training School! As badly as I wanted to teach in person, Monday through Wednesday just wasn’t an option. Online teaching is bittersweet. Being present on a screen isn’t the same as being present in the flesh.
There was a small break in the weather heading into Thursday, and though the roads were not plowed, salted, or sanded, I just knew on this day I needed to be there in person. In prayer and reading from the Scriptures during my morning quiet time I believed the Lord encouraged me to go. Amy was at peace, so I ventured out into the frozen tundra. What should have only taken 25 min took me 1:15hr!
On the way home it was a different story. Some sunshine had melted the top layer of snow and revealed the ice skating rink lurking below. Cresting a small hill heading home, the car in front of me slid sideways heading toward the ditch, which had already collected a small truck in its snow bank. Next to it was a stuck wrecker. I was stopped half way down the hill. I couldn’t reverse. At one point, I slid 2 feet to the left simply because I shifted in my seat. I couldn’t move. Honestly, I was scared. I didn’t want to pitch our new car into a ditch. I felt so bad.
In this moment something more serious was taking place in my spirit. “Here you are Richard. Stuck. You’re going to wreck your new car. Did God really want you to do this?” Why in the middle of trouble did I doubt the clarity at the beginning of my day? Regardless of the outcome, didn’t the Lord lead me? Can’t I trust HIM even if the outcome isn’t what I wanted? Amy was praying. Our friends were praying.
A police officer finally showed up and gave me the bad news. Pitch the car in the ditch on the left, stay parked here for 3 days, and hope you don’t freeze, or try going right and not falling off the 30 foot embankment into the lake. I asked him if I ended up in the lake, would he help me out? He response was chilling. “No sir. No need. You’ll be dead.” With this remark, he walked up the hill to give counsel to the other victims stuck on the hill of doom.
After an hour or so, the wrecker got loose and was able to move. This was my moment. If I could just thread the needle between the car in front of me and the embankment on the right with the looming frozen lake, perhaps the car would glide through with momentum to scale the hill in front.
A stranger had joined me outside the window and coached me through turning my wheels and setting my course. I let off the brake cautiously. He said as I started rolling, “Sometimes going too slow can be just as dangerous.” I tapped the brake. The back end started to slide. I let off the brake and committed to the descent.
By all outward signs, I shouldn’t have made the needle threading under these conditions. I believe a few angels were nudging the car to keep me on the straight and narrow. I got through. 3 1/2 hours later I pulled into the driveway. Tired and beat up mentally, I decided I was going to teach via Zoom on Friday. 🙂
God speaks. He guides us by His Spirit and by His Word. I’m thankful I have this story. I learned a lot about my own self doubt, and my faith was strengthened.
This event also gave me insight on the very truth I was teaching this week: Lordship is all about a life surrendered. If we are surrendered to the Kingdom of God, whatever our lot might be, we can trust Him. Do you believe this?
In the wake of the Texas thaw, we have some exciting news. Amy has been charged with leading the Jr. / Sr. High School trip for Christian Heritage School where she teaches and leads as the High School Vice Principal. Normally, CHS hauls the students to Washington D.C. for their senior trip. However, this year a different trip was discussed and prayed over. One morning very early, the Lord awoke Amy with these words: “Stay in this land, and I will be with you and bless you,” familiar words from Genesis 26:3. After sharing this with her work leader, a Texas trip was planned.
Amy and I will be driving the students for a week through some historical landmarks of Texas. From the Houston Space Center to the Capitol building in Austin, the trip is designed to help the students have greater appreciation for our government and our freedom to create and discover.
The trip is April 12-16. One chaperone’s cost is included in the students cost of the trip , which will cover Amy. However, mine and Audrey’s expenses are not. We are praying the Lord would meet this need for us as we plan this amazing trip. Total we need $1050. We have a Yukon XL we are borrowing. Our lodging has been booked. As the students are raising some of the funds through a couple fundraisers between now and then, we are praying for all 5 students and Amy and I to be funded fully. Please join us in praying and if you feel led to give financially towards this, please mark your gift accordingly. Amy and I both have a calling on our lives to disciple the next generation, and this will be a great opportunity to encourage these five Gen-Zer’s.
Many in our communities have been affected by the lack of work due to Covid-19. Our communications office took a morning and partnered with the East Texas Food Bank to distribute food to over 250 cars one morning a couple weeks ago. A friendly smile, a box of food, and a drive-by prayer is all it takes to lighten the mood for many families.
Thank you for your continued support through prayer and giving. We consider you a partner in ministry with us. No way could we do what we do alone without the dedicated support of you all. Our hearts are truly grateful.